Frequently Asked Questions
Can I join Zest part way through my accounting year?
You're welcome to join us at anytime.
Our annual fee is paid over 12 monthly direct debit payments which run in line with your business' financial year. If you join us part way through the accounting year, our fee will be collected by direct debit over the remaining months. So, if your end is 31 March 2020 and you join us in June 2019, your annual fee would be payable over 9 monthly direct debits. Once your new accounting year starts, you fee will be paid normally over 12 monthly direct debit payments.
Boosted and Complete Packages
Our Boosted and Complete Packages include monthly payroll and quarterly VAT services as well as your year end accounts and tax return. If you join us part way through the year we won't charge you for services that we have supplied, such as payroll. Therefore, when we supply you with your quote, we will let you know the discounted payment that will be due for the year and we'll spread that value over the remaining direct debits for the year.
What's the contract period?
We don't have any minimum contract periods. However, if you wish to leave our service, we ask that you give us one month's notice. If you wish to leave Zest during your accounting year, having not reached your companies year end, we cannot refund any fees paid for that accounting year, as we will have acted as your accountant and provided advise for that period.
Do you charge a signing up fee?
No we don't. We're open about our fees and the quote you receive will be the fee you pay each month.
Why is my subscription to QuickBooks, Xero, Sage One or FreeAgent not included in my fee?
QuickBooks, Xero and FreeAgent offer a number of different subscriptions, depending on the size and requirements of your business. Each subscription has a different cost. We want to be able to offer you the most cost-effective plan that we can and therefore don't want to charge all businesses the same amount for online software.
Can you offer me a discount on my QuickBooks Online subscription?
Yes we can. As we are Certified Gold Pro Advisors for QuickBooks, we can offer our clients a preferential rate on their QuickBooks monthly subscription. Our subscription prices start from £7 plus VAT per month. Subscriptions provided by us include an unlimited amount of users. If you purchase QuickBooks directly from them, you'll have to pay for additional user, whereas we'll charge you just once.
We can also offer discounted rates to our FreeAgent clients as we're FreeAgent Bronze Partners. Once we know what type of business you run, we can advise you how much your subscription will be.
To obtain our preferential QuickBooks and FreeAgent prices, Zest will invoice your subscription cost each month, with payment being made by Direct Debit.
We currently cannot offer a reduced subscription for Xero.
Can I move my QuickBooks & FreeAgent subscription should I wish to leave Zest?
We'd hate to see you go, but yes, you're are free to move your subscription if you leave. We don't believe in tying you into our service.
How is my quote calculated?
The cost of the packages we show on our website are based on your small business having a turnover of less than £100,000 and around 1000 transactions per year. We find that this is applicable to many small businesses.
Our packages also include a set number of self assessment returns and employees that we'll calculate your payroll for.
You may find that you need to add more employees or self assessments to your package or your turnover/number of transactions may be higher than above. In this case, we'll provide you with a very competitive quote, which will confirm the amount you would pay each month.
Additional Self Assessment Returns cost from £8 (plus VAT) per month and additional payroll employees cost £5 (plus VAT) per month.
If my turnover or number of transactions increases, will I be charged more?
If you have a small increase in turnover/transactions we won't charge you. However, if your number of transactions or turnover increases by a more significant amount, we'll have to increase our fee. We'll always discuss this with you should it happen and give you sufficient notice of the change.
How do I pay for your service?
All of our packages are paid for on a monthly basis by Direct Debit. One-off fees can be added to your Direct Debit or invoiced separately but this will be agreed in advance with you. All of our fees will have VAT added to them at the current standard VAT rate.
How do I sign up for your service?
The first step is to get in touch, request an appointment or have a chat with us on the phone. Alternatively you can give us a bit more information up front via our contact us page and we'll get back in touch with you asap.
We'll then discuss your requirements and then provide you with a quote. Once you're happy with the quote, we'll ask you to sign our letter of engagement, arrange the Direct Debit and we will guide you through the rest of the transition.
Can I add extra Self Assessments for my husband/wife/fellow director to my package?
Yes you can. Additional Self Assessments cost £8 (plus VAT) per month. We'll add this to your initial quote so you'll know how much you're paying in advance. You're also welcome to add additional Self Assessments to your package during the year.
Why do you not include Confirmation Statements in your packages?
Most of our clients find filing their annual Confirmation Statement with Companies House very straightforward. We don't want to charge our clients for something that's very easy to complete. To help you, we've also included a helpful guide in our knowledge section which includes a short video showing you how to file your return.
What's included in your year-round accounts and tax support?
All of our packages include our helpful year-round accounts and tax support. We're here to answer any general accountancy and tax questions that you have during the year. However, we ask that you use the service fairly (please see our fair usage policy in our T&C's for more details). Should you have a complex situation/question that requires us to carry out detailed work, an additional fee may be due. We will always tell you that a fee will apply before any work is carried out, so you won't receive any surprise bills.
Can I speak to an accountant whenever I like?
We're available to speak to on the phone during normal office hours, Monday to Friday. You're also welcome to email us night or day and we'll get back to you either the same day or the very next working day. When you phone, you may be asked when it's a good time to call you back. Our accountants have periods when they need to concentrate, but we'll get back to you at the time you specify. Just think you wouldn't want your tax return to be incorrect as your accountant had to take a call and lost concentration.
Will I deal with the same members of staff?
Yes, we're a small team and pride ourselves on providing a personal service to our clients, providing you with continuity in the support and advice you receive.
Are your accountants qualified?
Yes, all of our accountants are either full members of the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) or the ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales). All our qualified accountants have to undertake CPD (continuing professional development) each year to ensure they are up to date with all things new in the accountancy profession, so you can be assured that their work is of a high standard.
Do you outsource any bookkeeping or accounts work?
No, all of our work is carried in our office.
Can I send you information electronically?
Yes you can. Documents can be attached to relevant transactions in QuickBooks and Xero and is a great way to digitally store your accounting records. We also work with Receipt Bank and Dropbox where you can drag and drop documents.
We're happy for local clients to drop in their paperwork into our office in Newark.
Alternatively, if you would rather pop all your documents in an envelope and send them to us in the post, we advise that you send them recorded delivery just to be on the safe side or send copies of any documents that cannot be replaced.
Where are you based?
We're based in the town centre of Newark, Nottinghamshire, but work with clients across the UK. All of our work is carried out in our Newark office. None of our work is sent abroad or outsourced.
Do I need to live locally to you to use your service?
Absolutely not. We have clients that are based all over the UK. As we can deal with nearly everything electronically, we are able to provide a nationwide service.